A new bill would define daily fantasy sports sites as separate from gambling, while subjecting the games to casino-like regulations.
Daily fantasy sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, where customers pick fantasy teams of real-life players and win money based on how they perform in real games, have argued what they offer isn't the same as sports betting. Some states, including Nevada, have disagreed, and have banned their residents from playing daily fantasy.
State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) believes Illinois can get in front of what is turning into a national debate with his bill, which specifically says these games aren't gambling, while simultaneously subjecting daily fantasy sites to similar restrictions as Illinois casinos.
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"It prevents players from overplaying. It allows daily fantasy sites to check players for child support or tax liens. It promotes standards for auditing, and it bans anyone under the age of 18 from playing the game," Zalewski said.
Zalewski personally seems to agree with the arguments from daily fantasy sites that these are games of skill, not games of chance.
"There's a good case to be made for that," Zalewski said. "I've played fantasy sports and I know that you cannot willy-nilly pick a lineup and expect to win."
Zalewski says he's not pushing to tax or generate revenue for the state off daily fantasy sites. He doesn't expect the legislation to advance until next spring.